well, wait no more
28-Jan-2008 @ 10:44 pm
Trees. It seems like you see them everywhere these days. But are trees viable in the long-term, or just another flash-in-the-pan fad for the under-30 crowd?
A tree generally consists of a straight, vertical middle section (the "trunk") with several smaller sections ("branches") coming off of it. Sometimes the branches will have leaves or fruit, although it is extremely difficult to tell, without specific training in advance, which trees will offer these features and which won't. This is an area where user experience could be improved.
Trees are generally pleasing to look at, with the exception of the birch, which comes off as a bit "uppity". But what's below all the eye candy?
Well it turns out that trees make oxygen, which is important to many people worldwide. A tree can also be converted into wood, which has several uses, although once it becomes wood, the tree loses its oxygen-providing capability, so it's a double-edged sword.
If that's all there was to it, trees would be a no brainer. But as always, there are complications lurking below the surface.
First of all, trees take a long time to "grow". You can start a tree now and possibly be dead by the time it starts to provide a significant benefit to you. This requires a degree of philanthropism on your part to even begin the process.
Additionally, leaf-bearing trees generate a huge mess every year, rudely dumping last season's fashion everywhere with callous disregard to property values or the volume of work required to clean them up.
Trees also provide sanctuary to filthy birds who chirrup endlessly in the small hours of the morning, despite this author's yells and throwing of little rocks.
If I could make one suggestion for future versions, it would probably be for trees to become "untethered". That is, preserve the top portion without the intervening trunk. I have on a couple of occasions been walking down the street and gotten a branch in the face. This is a painful and, let's be honest, humiliating situation.
It speaks of human hypocrisy, I suppose. Most people would tell you they like trees. Yet ask a person who has had a tree fall on their house or a child who has lived with the trauma of injuries borne from falling out of one, and they'll likely paint you a different picture entirely. Trees then, I suppose, are a necessary evil.
Pros: Oxygen; Can be nice to look at; Fruit sometimes
Cons: Sometimes messy; Walking hazard; Can fall on house/you
Overall Verdict: Good, although not without flaws
. . .
Let's hope my MacBook Air ships soon because now that I have a nearly perfect cell phone, I'm running out of things to review.
Update: Reader Aaron submits this awesome proof of concept for untethered trees: